• Spc. Michael Baumann, with the 295th Quartermaster Company, waits to help pull a canoe onto a trailer. The canoe landing was part of Paddle to Squaxin 2012, an annual event where members of Native American tribes come together in a show of unity in part by paddling to the host tribe's area.

    Soldiers help Native Americans finish canoe journey

    Spc. Michael Baumann, with the 295th Quartermaster Company, waits to help pull a canoe onto a trailer. The canoe landing was part of Paddle to Squaxin 2012, an annual event where members of Native American tribes come together in a show of unity in...

  • In the final step of their canoe journey, Native Americans row toward the ramp to have their watercraft pulled onto land for the Paddle to Squaxin 2012. Soldiers from the 295th Quartermaster Company from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., participated in the event by helping to pull the canoes out of the water.

    Soldiers help Native Americans finish canoe journey

    In the final step of their canoe journey, Native Americans row toward the ramp to have their watercraft pulled onto land for the Paddle to Squaxin 2012. Soldiers from the 295th Quartermaster Company from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., participated in...

  • Soldiers with the 295th Quartermaster Company from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., pull a canoe onto a trailer that will pull the watercraft out of the water. The canoe landing was part of the Paddle to Squaxin 2012, an annual event where members of Native American tribes come together in a show of unity in part by paddling to the host tribe's area.

    Soldiers help Native Americans finish canoe journey

    Soldiers with the 295th Quartermaster Company from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., pull a canoe onto a trailer that will pull the watercraft out of the water. The canoe landing was part of the Paddle to Squaxin 2012, an annual event where members of...

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. (Army News Service, July 31, 2012) -- Soldiers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord helped members of the Quileute tribe move approximately 100 canoes out of the water at the completion of the tribe's two-week journey, July 29.

The tribe traveled by canoe from their home village of La Push to Olympia during the annual Paddle to Squaxin 2012. The annual event provides an opportunity for various Native American tribes from Washington and areas farther away to journey in a traditional way and come together in friendship.

"It is what our forefathers did; we're just doing it (on a) different day, different year," said Howeeshata, the hereditary chief of the Quileute tribe.

Howeeshata said the long journey was not tiring; The travelers sang songs to motivate themselves. Still, he was still grateful to bring his canoe to the ramp where Soldiers from the 295th Quartermaster Company were pulling watercraft onto trailers.

The exposure to new cultures gave 2nd Lt. Tim Vanderpoel a chance to know more about his Soldiers.

"We have a few Native American Soldiers, so it was kind of interesting to see their tribes out here too, kind of see where they come from," Vanderpoel said.

Capt. Michael Watkins, 295th commander, said the event was a way to help out people who have supported them.

"This is a once in a life time opportunity," Watkins said. "I've never been part of an event like this. This is what it's about. It's learning more about others and contributing to this great country and this great nation."

Page last updated Tue July 31st, 2012 at 00:00